Aventura Center Alto Las Condes20th January 2012
Aventura Center is a chain of family entertainment centres found in some of the larger shopping malls in Santiago. Their web site indicated three branches with a fourth under construction, one of which (at Alto Las Condes) had a roller coaster. Montaña Rusa (#1718) is a surprisingly powerful version of the Pinfari Super Dragon design, which fits perfectly in a small outdoor storage area located on the third floor of the mall.
While researching Aventura Center on the Internet, I found a number of photographs showing a similar ride at the Florida Mall branch, so we decided to check it out for the benefit of the enthusiast community. There was no coaster present, but there was a large area behind some hoarding that was exactly the right size to contain the one we'd found; it follows that the original ride was relocated, probably due to noise issues.
Parque Mahuida20th January 2012
Our second stop was at Parque Mahuida, a park on the outskirts of the city which felt very much like a local equivalent of Butlins. It is home to a number of attractions, all of which have their own dedicated parking areas. The one we were interested in, the Rodelbahn, is a pretty good trough-style alpine slide built by Wiegand; anyone attempting to go through it without using brakes would be virtually guaranteed to go over the side.
Mampato Lo Barnechea20th January 2012
Mampato Lo Barnechea is a family park on the outskirts of Santiago. The target audience for the park can be easily determined by looking at the admission prices; entry for children is more than double the price of adult entry. As such parks go this was definitely one of the better ones, with several rides of interest for the discerning enthusiast. We rode the Happy Mountain (#1719), the Casa del Terror, and the Rueda; the latter being an extremely old looking wheel, similar to the early designs from the Eli Bridge Company.
There are two other Mampato parks in the greater Santiago area. Unfortunately for us, both were closed today; Las Vizcaches is only open on weekends in January, and Padre Hurtado is closed outright for the summer months. The reason for the closure, as explained to us by a very helpful staff member, is an unusual one; all the park rides are transplanted to a seaside location at El Quisco, around a ninety minute drive from the capital. A further set of rides are installed at El Tabo. With a rental car and ample time to spare, we decided to check them out.
Chilean Fairs20th January 2012
The temporary Mampato park at El Quisco could almost have been a permanent installation. The various rides were all set up in a very neat fashion, with power cables buried out of sight; furthermore, there were a number of buildings that looked permanent, such as a dodgem track and a small castle-like structure that was almost certainly a management office. A sign out front indicated that the attractions would be open from 18:00-01:00.
Happy Mountain (#1720) had a different colour scheme to the model we'd ridden a few hours earlier, but otherwise could have been identical. However, there was an unexpected bonus in store; excessive braking on the main drop caused the train to valley, where it began to roll back and forth. Two ride operators immediately jumped down into the track area, and tried to give the train a boost, and while they managed to speed it a little it wasn't quite enough. Moments later, four more staff had been found, and between the six of them they managed to rock the train back and forth enough to get it to complete the course. I'm sorry not to have caught the whole thing on video, as it was extremely entertaining to watch!
The smaller temporary Mampato park at El Tabo had a powered coaster of indeterminate origin named Zum Zum. This ride was surprisingly powerful for its size, with the train covering the course at top speed. We found another small fair on the beach nearby, complete with a small coaster named Himalaya, but the rides there had closed for the day. Staff advised us that they would be open again at 09:00 the next morning.